Branching Out

DSCF2290Ah the humble model railway tree, once such a joy but now looking rather dated. There was a time when you could take a box of these to a game and they would impress everyone. “Wow, trees!” folk would cry as if they’d rarely gamed with such a thing on the table. Over the years my box of fifty-or-so have seen a fair amount of action but as gaming standards rise beyond all recognition the reaction has dropped off to barely concealed loathing. Okay they’re metal brushes with flock on them, and aside from variations in colour they’re incredibly samey. Sure you can get some with coloured bits on them to make them look a little like fruit trees, but those are a bit questionable and ultimately you’re fooling no one. Compared to the cheapo Chinese trees off that Ebay, and the metal ones from Irregular they are rather dull.

DSCF2292So now I’ve started to mangle them to look more like the one above. The first step is to cut chunks off to get a less balanced shape. Then glob some PVA over them and add flock. It’s a simple way to make them look better and doesn’t take too long if you’ve a good pair of clippers.

DSCF2299One thing to bear in mind is when you’re letting them dry you want to change how you store them to avoid having the PVA being misguided by gravity and ending up all at one end. To start I store them top down in a small amount of flock, and after about half an hour turning them and sticking them into a box or similar.

DSCF2302Here’s a selection I made earlier. From left to right, a larger finished one looking much more like a tree, an experimental one with some basetex applied to be flocked later, two after a single flocking, and one with two coats of flock and just waiting to dry. They’ve lost the look of trees cloned from a single seed.

DSCF2301Here’s two rows of trees, the back ones have been hacked but still look samey, the front row have been hacked, flocked and look much more like trees too. It’s a shame the makers of these don’t catch up and just add a little more glue and flock and help us all out. Until then I think this is a handy tip for the perfectionists amongst us, which by my current estimation is about 99% of us.

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4 Responses to “Branching Out”

  1. Michael Says:

    good idea, which to be fair is to be expect from you. 🙂

  2. 6milphil Says:

    Thanks! The basetex ones seem to be the best ones now.

  3. Kasper Says:

    Always a pleasure to see what you have been up to on your blog :-).
    Could you give us a detailed picture of the basetex one in its finished stage, perhaps next to an “unmodded” one?
    Thanks,
    Kasper.

  4. 6milphil Says:

    Sure I’ll take a photo in the next day or two. I have taken a couple but they were very blurry.

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